A hanging matter

I have just completed a page on a distant relation, Thomas William Jesshope (1878-1910).  Thomas was hung for murdering one of his colleagues while working as a fireman in the Camberwell Empire Music Hall.  He had been a merchant seaman and later a London fireman.  At his trial he gave a history of injury, physical illness and probably a serious mental disorder.  He defence was that he had inherited epilepsy that rendered him insane at the time of the murder.  The description of a man who seemed very cool and what we would call ‘out of it’ after the murder does suggest that he had serious problems.  His mention of  the death of one of his children, his wife’s miscarriage and his lack of money also suggest a man under great stress.  Justice was sharp and fast – within weeks of the Final Verdict he was executed at Wandsworth Jail, the executioner was  Henry Pierrepoint.



About jenjen999

I am a family historian with an interest not only in direct lines but in the social background and historical setting of the families I research.
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